University + chronic illness.

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University + chronic illness.

Postby shoog » Fri Nov 14, 2014 2:03 pm

I have been at university for the last 4 years, 3 years I was diagnosed with chronic sarcoidosis and then this year I was diagnosed with Fibro (although the symptoms are not new!). In both 2012 and 2013 my health became so bad that I had to withdraw from university during the academic year. So I'm now attempting the year again, and this is my last chance due to policy which states that a full time degree must be completed in 6 years, and sadly I can't go part time due to financial reasons. I have an essay due on Monday, I've done a lot of research and a lot of work, but the actual writing of the essay still needs to be done this weekend and low and behold, am I not having a severe flare weekend. This essay has to be in on monday, like all if my work from here in out - if it's not in on time then I don't get my degree. It's so hard to push yourself when you're in pain, and you're fatigued and not to mention brain fog which is a right royal pain in the behind when you're trying to eloquently express yourself.

This is really just a rant and not much else. But I'm struggling a lot.
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Re: University + chronic illness.

Postby westne5 » Fri Nov 14, 2014 2:49 pm

Honey I'm in the same situ, just started again after having to suspend my studies 2 yrs ago because of the chronic fatigue side, and today had a meeting threatening to kick me off course because of attendance, I've worked so hard to get bk and working on submissions due on Friday, I just hope the fog stays away long enough to hand in work on time so I can stick fingers up at their questions and prove I can still do it!!!! Good luck xxx
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Re: University + chronic illness.

Postby FluppyPuffy » Fri Nov 14, 2014 3:05 pm

What about seeing if you can have access to speech~to~type software??? Might be easier to read from notes/info instead of physically having to type.

Have you looked into whether exceptions can be made wrt to the period of time allowed for a degree to be completed???
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Re: University + chronic illness.

Postby shoog » Fri Nov 14, 2014 3:36 pm

Fluppy - I do have assistive software like that, but I don't actually find it all that helpful. The problem is just getting motivated and "switched on" when I'm sore and fatigued like today. But I have to do it, so that is a big motivating factor!

Westne5 - I'm sorry you're in the same situation too. It's really difficult isn't it? The problem isn't that I don't love studying, I do! Sometimes I think the uni staff think I just don't want it enough, but I really really do. I have already put a lot of work in to this essay but the "big" part - the actual writing - is still to come, and it's due on Monday. Now I know, when I don't feel panicked, that it is absolutely within my ability to write an essay over a weekend - particularly when I've already done so much. But the anxiety (I have anxiety disorder) coupled with the fatigue and pain of fibro makes that seem totally impossible!
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Re: University + chronic illness.

Postby JDWench » Fri Nov 14, 2014 3:43 pm

This sucks, I understand how you feel I've had a car crash week and missed loads of university due to being exhausted and over sleeping. Today I would have been looking at cultures from swabs we took in the lab (I've been so excited about this for two weeks) and having a lecture on the central nervous system which for personal reasons is useful to me but I missed the day, I've decided to draw a line under the horrible week and work my backside off next week.
You will get your essay done because you're up against it. Even if you're just jotting notes and ideas they'll start you off, at least you're being productive. Good luck xxx
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Re: University + chronic illness.

Postby kat101 » Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:25 pm

My son is close to finishing his teaching degree and has recently been diagnosed with Fibro and they have him on so many drugs that he has terrible fibro fog and is so groggy all the time he can't concentrate. He has had to drop all his courses but one. He is finally getting used to the drugs and is sleeping all night for the first time in years. Hopefully by next semester he will be better and able to go back to taking a full case load again. He said that the pain is somewhat reduced but it is still horrible on some days. With winter coming on I am sure he is in for a hard time. I have Fibro too so I know exactly what he is going through. He is married and has two small children and is only able to work a couple of days a week. I pray things get better for him because right now it is really hard to keep things going and get his degree too. I hope all of you who are trying to finish your degree get better soon so you can.
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Re: University + chronic illness.

Postby MPSGuy » Sat Nov 15, 2014 4:06 pm

Have you applied for Disabled Student Allowance (DSA) which comes through student finance. It would most likely entitle you to supportive equipment like a voice recorder and speech to text software, however it often includes funding for 1-2-1 study skills support with a tutor and sometimes 1-2-1 mentoring too. Study skills can help with the organisational and practical aspects of studying and coursework and the mentoring can help with the motivational and other issues.

Study skills support and mentoring (funded through DSA) has been a big help to me.

Do you like the course you are studying? I've been studying part-time since 2011 (still have 2 years to go) and to be honest the motivation is hard because I'm not really enjoying the course but at the same time I have invested too much time and money to quit and start again.
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Re: University + chronic illness.

Postby shoog » Sun Nov 16, 2014 12:10 pm

MPSGuy wrote:Have you applied for Disabled Student Allowance (DSA) which comes through student finance. It would most likely entitle you to supportive equipment like a voice recorder and speech to text software, however it often includes funding for 1-2-1 study skills support with a tutor and sometimes 1-2-1 mentoring too. Study skills can help with the organisational and practical aspects of studying and coursework and the mentoring can help with the motivational and other issues.

Study skills support and mentoring (funded through DSA) has been a big help to me.

Do you like the course you are studying? I've been studying part-time since 2011 (still have 2 years to go) and to be honest the motivation is hard because I'm not really enjoying the course but at the same time I have invested too much time and money to quit and start again.


I have received lots of supportive software etc through DSA and I also have a mental health advisor (funded through DSA) who I meet with weekly who provides support with my studies, although I wasn't told about this service until this year and I've been a disabled student at this university for 4 years! It's insane that students aren't aware of the support available to them.

I do really enjoy my course, and that does help to keep me motivated. I know I'm lucky in that I really enjoy my course, more than most, and I find it really easy to get engrossed in my studies. My problem is the procrastinating that happens first - normally because I'm really sore or fatigued. But I'm trying to get better with that.

I'm sorry you don't enjoy your course, it's a really tough situation to be in. I've been at university before and I know how hard it is to motivate yourself when it feels like a chore because you really don't get anything out of studying. Hopefully it's a step in the direction you want to go in though?
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Re: University + chronic illness.

Postby kay_87 » Mon Jan 19, 2015 10:17 pm

I am currently doing a degree at university too and i can totally relate to what you are saying.
I know its a little late now as your essay will be in but you should speak to your disability department about support. As i was offered buddy support for when i am too sore, who can type my essays as i dictate them if required and to get an extention if required. There are also alot of different soft wares for laptops/pcs that come in handy ie read and write gold. They will read your notes/websites or scanned in books to you so worth a shot.

Hope you did ok with your assignment in the end :) xxx
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